Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/04/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/04/2017

1. Misdeclared Cargo Blaze
Container giant MSC increasingly believes that a shipper misdeclaring hazardous cargo sparked the giant fire that ripped through the aft of the 13,800 teu  MSC Daniela boxship on April 5. The ship was en route to the Suez Canal from Singapore when a fire broke out in one container on before spreading quickly to others, forcing the master to reroute to Colombo where a combined force of Sri Lankan and Indian vessels then spent more than 12 hours extinguishing the blaze. Some of the boxes on the deck continued to smoulder for more than two weeks.
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2. US Navy Provoked by Iran
A U.S. Navy destroyer fired a warning flare at an Iranian vessel in the Persian Gulf on Monday after the Revolutionary Guard ship came within 1,100 yards of the USS Mahan before turning away. The Associated Press reported the Mahan made a number of attempts to contact the incoming Iranian vessel by radio, issuing warning messages and twice sounding the internationally recognized signal for danger: five short blasts with the ship’s whistle. Navy spokesman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, Lieutenant Ian McConnaughey said the flare was finally deployed to “determine the Iranian vessel’s intentions”.
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3. Speculative Industry Destruction
Speculative ordering was a main cause of the recent shipping meltdown. Like it or not, that spectre may have returned with desperate yards touting dirt-cheap newbuildings. A closely linked problem was that of government finance for unviable shipyards, leaving the yards with no choice but to drop prices in order to attract buyers, generate revenue and eventually restructure their balance sheets, said Euronav chief executive Paddy Rodgers at the Sea Asia opening panel discussion in Singapore. But shipowners could not cure the problem, Mr Rodgers added, “because we are constantly tempted by those naughty shipyards”.
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4. Ransoms on the Rise
Pirates across the world are increasingly ditching cargo theft in favour of abducting crews for ransom, delegates attending a conference in Singapore have been told. ReCAAP, the multinational Asian piracy watchdog, organised a piracy seminar as part of the ongoing Singapore Maritime Week. Christopher Trelawney, the special advisor on maritime security to the IMO secretary-general, made the observation about hostage taking growing over cargo theft during his speech this morning. He said this had been seen not just in Southeast Asia, but also West Africa and was also threatening to return to the Horn of Africa.
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5. Pirate Given Life Plus 10
A Somali pirate is getting thrown in the brig thousands of miles away in the U.S. Mohamed Farah, convicted in the 2010 attack on the Navy’s Ashland vessel, was sentenced by a federal court in Virginia to life in prison plus 10 years. Farah and a group of fellow pirates were convicted of crimes including conspiracy to take hostages and plundering a vessel in 2013, with the Justice Department announcing the end to years of legal wrangling on Wednesday. Five other defendants have already received sentences, ranging from 15 years to life plus 10 years for the attempted takeover of the Ashland in the Gulf of Aden.
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6. Bulker Allision Report
The National Transport Marine Safety Board has issued a Marine Accident Brief on the March 26 allision of a 739 ft Panama-flagged bulk carrier with the Louisiana Sugar Refinery near Gramercy, LA. The barebones NTSB Executive Summary of the accident brief says: the bulk carrier was anchored using two anchors, when the vessel’s port anchor chain parted and the starboard anchor began to drag. The ship moved with the current, it allided with the Louisiana Sugar Refinery (LSR) raw sugar unloading dock and continued to drift downstream.
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7. Importance of Hatch Maintenance
The UK P&I Club’s Loss Prevention Department has been advising on the importance of hatch cover maintenance: “Whether a ship’s hatch covers are weathertight is a seemingly simple question that should have a “Yes” or “No” answer. However, coming to the right conclusion is not as easy as may initially be assumed, requiring an understanding of hatch covers, their operation and industry requirements. “Ensuring hatch covers are well maintained, and that crew are trained and experienced in their usage greatly reduces the number of claims relating to water damaged cargo.
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8. Dubai in Top 5
Dubai was new ranked fifth on the list of the world’s most competitive and attractive maritime clusters, according to an international survey conducted by Menon Business Economics Group. The survey showed how Dubai has progressed confidently from 13th place in 2015 to 10th among the ‘Overall Leading Maritime Capitals of the World for the Year 2017.’ Dubai also ranked fifth in the ‘Competitiveness and Attractiveness Index’ in 2017 compared with eighth place in 2015. Dubai joins the ranks of Singapore, Hamburg, Oslo, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Athens, and London.
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9. New Seafarers Bishop
Bishop Paul Mason, Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark, has been appointed new Bishop Promoter for the Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) in England & Wales. He takes over from Bishop Tom Burns of Menevia. Born in North Shields, Tyne & Wear, close to the coast, Bishop Mason was very aware of the ship building tradition around the Tyne, and many of his schoolmates’ fathers worked at Swan Hunter in Wallsend. Moving away from the North East in 1982 and away from the sea, his next encounter with shipping was at the other end of the scale when asked by AoS if he would be available to work as a chaplain on a cruise ship.

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10. Kidnapped Crew Home
Five Filipino seafarers who were kidnapped by Nigerian pirates last month returned home and were reunited with their families in Manila on Tuesday, April 25. The Pinoy seafarers arrived at NAIA Terminal 1. The men recounted that heavily armed Nigerian pirates stormed their cargo ship on March 30, 2017 and abducted five Filipinos and one foreign crew of the ship. The seamen said the rest of the crew hid and were spared by the pirates. The pirates released the kidnapped victims after the shipping company negotiated with the pirates, presumably with ransom payments.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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S Jones
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